Kenya to ease movement of goods from Mombasa to South Sudan
NAIROBI - Kenya will begin the process of easing the movement of goods from the Port of Mombasa to South Sudan while giving traders the option of clearing their goods at the port of Mombasa or the inland depots in Nairobi or Naivasha.
The development came after bilateral talks between President William Ruto and his counterpart, President Salva Kiir, in Juba on Saturday, December 3.
“Traders from South Sudan can choose the most convenient point to pick their goods with no restrictions,” said Ruto.
President Ruto also indicated that Kenya will offer South Sudan land in Mombasa for the development of a dry port in order to minimize the cost of doing business between the two nations’ residents.
The resolution comes months after the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce said that it will relocate its cargo to the port of Djibouti because it is more convenient.
The decision followed President Ruto’s directive to return cargo clearing services to the port of Mombasa from the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Naivasha, as promised during his campaign.
The country’s Minister for Petroleum Puot Kang Chol is quoted by local media saying, “Over the years we have been only using Port Sudan and Mombasa but recently, we have decided to go to Djibouti and as I am speaking to you, we have landed in Djibouti.”
Africa’s new state is thought to have already purchased three acres of land at the port of Djibouti for the construction of a facility that will handle its import and export goods.
On his part, President Kiir commended Ruto for lifting limitations that made it impossible for South Sudanese traders to clear their goods.
“On behalf of the people of South Sudan we are grateful to Kenya for allowing our traders to choose where to clear their goods without any restrictions,” said Kiir.
Ruto was in South Sudan on a one-day official visit. He was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Infrastructure Kipchumba Murkomen, among others.
Riek Machar, South Sudan’s First Vice President, was present during the press conference. South Sudan is second Kenya’s largest client after Uganda, accounting for 9.9 percent of transit volumes.